The city of Bend has extended an administrative order discouraging travel in an attempt avoid coronavirus spread and to potentially get children back into classrooms later in the fall.

City leaders issued their initial order in July, and it was set to expire on Labor Day. The new order is now in effect through Oct. 26 — the point at which the Bend-La Pine School District could consider some version of hybrid or in-class learning.

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“The date is aligned with the first day that schools here could open so we continue to discourage nonessential travel to Bend with the goal of getting local students back in school,” Bend City Manager Eric King said in a statement.

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The order strongly discourages people from traveling to Bend for recreational or vacation purposes. It also requests Bend hotels, motels and other temporary lodging facilities refrain from booking reservations for any reasons besides essential travel, such as work-related trips.

The order does not apply to stays longer than 30 days or residential stays of any length for people experiencing homelessness who are staying at a motel through a voucher or similar program.

When speaking about the initial order back in July, Bend Mayor Sally Russell called it “a really tough decision” for the City Council, citing the important role the city’s transient room tax, paid by people staying in overnight lodging, plays in Bend’s economy.

“If we can keep our community healthy, we have a better chance of getting our schools opened in some form and getting our kids back to school in the fall,” Russell said. “We have a better chance of keeping our service-related sector healthy so they can continue doing the work they’re doing to serve our community.”

As of Friday, Deschutes County had 699 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus diagnoses, according to the Oregon Health Authority. When Bend’s initial order went into effect in July, the county had 339 known cases.

A hotel in Bend, Ore., advertises "Stay Here, Stay Safe," and continues to take tourist reservations, despite a city order asking lodgings not to allow short-term visits, photographed on Aug. 11, 2020.

A hotel in Bend, Ore., advertises "Stay Here, Stay Safe," on Aug. 11, 2020, despite a non-binding city order asking lodgings not to allow short-term visits.

Courtney Sherwood

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